Nouvelles des membres du Réseau Publication - Nutritionists as policy advocates: the case of obesity prevention in Quebec, Canada

Une publication de Jacqueline Wassef, membre associée du RRSPQ et l'une des deux lauréates du prix "Meilleure thèse de doctorat 2019-2020" et collègues, dans la Revue Public Health Nutrition, 2021, 1-14. doi:10.1017/S1368980021004997

Co-auteurs : François Champagne et Lambert Farand

Résumé des auteurs


A core function of the public health nutrition workforce is advocacy. Little is known of the nutritionists’ role in policymaking from a policy process theory perspective. The current study analyses the nutritionists’ role in advocating for a six-year governmental plan on obesity prevention in Quebec, Canada.


We conducted qualitative research using Quebec’s obesity policy as a case study to understand the role of nutritionists in advocating for obesity prevention policies. A conceptual framework combining the Advocacy Coalition Framework with a political analysis model based on the Theory of the Strategic Actor was developed to analyse the beliefs, interests and strategies of policy actors including nutritionists. Data sources comprised semi-structured open-ended interviews with key policy actors (n 25), including eight nutritionists (32 %) and policy-related documents (n 267). Data analysis involved thematic coding and analysis using NVivo 11 Pro.


Quebec, Canada.


Key policy actors including nutritionists.


Nutritionists formed the core of the dominant public health coalition. They advocated for an inter-sectoral governmental plan to prevent obesity through enabling environments. Their advocacy, developed through an iterative process, comprised creating a think tank and reinforcing partnerships with key policy actors, conducting research and developing evidence, communicating policy positions and advocacy materials, participating in deliberative forums and negotiating an agreement with other coalitions in the policy subsystem.


Nutritionists’ advocacy influenced agenda setting and policy formulation. This research may contribute to empowering the public health nutrition workforce and strengthening its advocacy practices. It informs practitioners and researchers concerned with obesity policy and workforce development.